My mind has taken to producing the most bizarre, gothic dreams.
I don’t remember a lot of dreams, usually. I wake from foggy dead-sleep most mornings, aware that something has been happening in my sub-conscious. Some mornings- especially back when sleep was my own relief from the ongoing pain of being awake– I’d rise feeling as though I had run an emotional marathon in my sleep, the synapses that string across my brain taut and tight.
Now that I wake remembering what I’ve dreamt of, I understand why.
There’s rarely lightness in these dreams, rarely glittering sunlight or pretty gloamings. It’s always dark- even when my mind is projecting a scene that occurs in the daytime, I only know that because I know it, not because it’s light. I’m always in a dark, gloomy building. Sometimes I find myself underground, in a basement, crawling through tunnels.
I dream of my friends. I’m urban exploring with Auntie Mickey and my cat, Dim Sum, who’s been dead for months now but is alive and well and following us like a well-trained dog. We’re in the basement of an old, rotting building, which we’ve accessed from a tunnel outside. Two men, who’s faces I didn’t see or don’t remember, scare us and we begin to run. No, no, they say- they’re not security, just fellow explorers. But the building is starting to come down and we’d better run before we all get squashed.
And that’s when that all-too-common sense of hot dream anxiety begins and we’re running, calling for the cat as pieces of rotten floor and dirt crumble down upon us. Auntie Mickey is laughing and, logically, that tells me everything is fine, we are only metres from the day-lit entrance and we’re going to be okay. This is just a dream, after all.
I still wake, fretful, my jaw sore from clenching and my diaphragm clenched with anxiety, just before we break into the daylight.
The strange feeling of underground anxiety sits nervously on a ledge in the back of my mind for hours after I wake, clouding the first few hours of my day with a sick sense of panic. The shadowy visuals of the darkness, the warmth of my cat’s fur against my hand… they float at the corners of my consciousness.
I’ve been reading about lucid dreaming- the skill of being able to apply logic to your dream-state; of allowing yourself to control your actions in your dreams. I’m working on it. I check with myself at various points of waking to see- is this real? Am I awake here, or dreaming? I repeat to myself before I sleep “I am dreaming, I am dreaming, I am dreaming…” in the hope my mind will continue the phrase into my sleep. Already, things feel more tactile. The sleepy panic is more manageable- there’s a level of separate reality there. It’s more like watching a vivid, nail-biting movie scene than feeling the devastation, the irrational agony of those events actually happening and having no control over how my dream-self reacts to them.
Dreams are illogical, interesting places to immerse yourself in. The thought of controlling them is tantalising.
I’ll let you know how I get on.